Want to quickly review Pizzicletta as I had the opportunity to eat there when I was out West in Vegas for a bachelor party. I decided to work it in the itinerary as I was out in Nevada and figured I would take a couple of days to see some national parks and Flagstaff seemed as good as any place to stay one of the nights. I have been following Caleb since he started posting on Slice and his place definitely did not disappoint.
A buddy of mine and I got there at 7.30 last Tuesday on a beautiful night in Flagstaff. The first thing you will notice when you walk in is the simple and warm decor of the restaurant, which you can do in about 2 seconds...this place is small, like shoebox small. I have seen photos online and my brain knew the rough square footage, but until you are inside you can't appreciate just how small it really is.
We each got a pie me a margherita and him the amore oi mari (marscapone, pecorino, arugula and prosciutto) - I was really taken back with the texture of the crust, it was crisp yet supple and tender. Super consistently cooked throughout the pie and the mircoleoparding add just the perfect amount of bitterness via charring.
Upon the realization of still having a good amount of my Fat Tire Snapshot beer left we decided to split a Marinara - this to me was the pie of the night - truly showcased the Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes (http://biancodinapoli.com/
) which had a beautiful sweetness and great acidity that let the flavor evolve with every bite. It came to the table pouring out the fragrance of oregano and garlic, absolutely wonderful.
This was the point in the night that two people 160lbs and me at 135lbs respectively should have stopped. Yet we marched on to the special of the night which was a Straciatelli, Pecorino, Basil and Balsamic pie. Speaking honestly it worked better on paper and as a concept than in the mouth. The flavors got a bit lost between one another and the pie was missing something - extra salt, heat from a chili or even a little lemon would have done a great deal to elevate this pie.
At this point fully bursting with pizza I figure we were in this deep why not go for broke and get one more pie of the two left that we hadn't tried. It was an arugula tomato and pecorino pie and was a perfect way to close the night with a little red chili flake sprinkled on top. Bitter, salty and acidic. On a we had to try to roasted almond gelato - best gelato I have had this side of Italy if anyone is curious...
Overall it was a great dining experience: you get to watch Caleb at work in a warm and inviting environment, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and attentive, the food is great, and I got to chat with Mr. Schiff himself which was certainly a cherry on top of my evening. If I am ever out there again it definitely going to merit a second viewing. Motorino still is the pacecar for me, but Pizzicletta has an excellent spirit and authentic flavors.
A lot of place seems to be into 'hademade' mozzarella, Pizzicletta being one of them, my assumption being they are pulling it there and getting the curd from somewhere else. I'll will say it was fine, nothing to get excited about and frankly I was expecting it to have more flavor than it did - if you had given it to me blind I 100% would not be able to get excited about it. For me unless you are ordering curd from Di Paolo's or some other top tier provider I would just stick with Fior di Latte or Mozzarella di Bufala imported straight from Italy, refining the dough process is difficult enough and cheesemaking I would argue is even more difficult, I know Caleb falls a bit into the artisan community of restaurant owners, but this to me seemed like a place that could be improved and actually decrease work time.
Second random thought is where can I find access to these Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes - they are insanely delicious, rival most of the SM tomatoes I have used in the past and certainly are some of the best american tomatoes out there.
Finally, I want a Ferrara oven...they are not only beautiful you can just see the evenness of heat they pump out. First time in awhile I have been so close to one and they never disappoint in beauty or in function.